Bioregionalism is a political, cultural, and environmental system or set of views based on naturally-defined areas called bioregions, or ecoregions. Bioregions are defined through physical and environmental features, including watershed boundaries and soil and terrain characteristics. Bioregionalism stresses that the determination of a bioregion is also a cultural phenomenon, and emphasizes local populations, knowledge, and solutions.[1]


[edit] Overview

The term appears to have originated in work by Peter Berg and Raymond Dasmann in the early 1970s.[2]

The bioregionalist perspective opposes a homogeneous economy and consumer culture with its lack of stewardship towards the environment. This perspective seeks to:

  • Ensure that political boundaries match ecological boundaries.[3]
  • Highlight the unique ecology of the bioregion.
  • Encourage consumption of local foods where possible.
  • Encourage the use of local materials where possible.
  • Encourage the cultivation of native plants of the region.
  • Encourage sustainability in harmony with the bioregion.[4]

[edit] In politics

North American Bioregional Assemblies have been bi-annual gatherings of bioregionalists throughout North America since 1984 and have given rise to national level Green Parties. In addition, bioregionalism spawned the sustainability movement. The tenets of bioregionalism are often used by green movements, which oppose political organizations whose boundaries conform to existing electoral districts. This problem is perceived to result in elected representatives voting in accordance with their constituents, some of whom may live outside a defined bioregion, and may run counter to the well-being of the bioregion.

Bioregionalism has also been used by local level Green Party members, such as the Okanagan Greens, seeking greater independence from state/provincial and national level Green Parties. Furthermore, bioregionalism has been used to magnify the voting power of highly concentrated groups of Greens living in remote areas. For example, while 50% of British Columbia's population might live in the Fraser Valley bioregion, perhaps 2-3% reside within the Middle Fraser bioregion.

[edit] Index of bioregions

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Bioregionalism: The Need For a Firmer Theoretical Foundation", Don Alexander, Trumpeter v13.3, 1996.
  2. ^ Berg, Peter and Raymond Dasmann, "Reinhabiting California," The Ecologist 7, no. 10 (1977)
  3. ^ Davidson, S. (2007) "The Troubled Marriage of Deep Ecology and Bioregionalism," Environmental Values, vol. 16(3): 313-332
  4. ^ Bastedo, Jamie. Shield Country: The Life and Times of the Oldest Piece of the Planet, Red Deer Press, 1994. ISBN 0-88995-191-8

[edit] Further reading

  • Peter Berg, editor. Reinhabiting A Separate Country: A Bioregional Anthology of Northern California. San Francisco: Planet Drum, 1978. ISBN 0-937102-00-8.
  • Michael McGinnis, editor. Bioregionalism, Routledge, 1998. ISBN 0-415-15445-6.
  • Kirkpatrick Sale, Dwellers in the Land: The Bioregional Vision. Random House, 1985. ISBN 0-8203-2205-9 (University of Georgia Press, 2000).
  • Gary Snyder. A Place in Space: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Watersheds. Counterpoint, 1995. ISBN 1-887178-27-9
  • Robert Thayer. LifePlace: Bioregional Thought and Practice, University of California Press, 2003. ISBN 0-520-23628-9
  • Emanuele Guerrieri Ciaceri. Bioregionalismo. La visione locale di un mondo globale. Argo Edizioni, Italia 2006. ISBN 9788888659190
  • Doug Aberley, editor. Boundaries of Home: Mapping for Local Empowerment. New Society Publishers, 1998. ISBN 978-0865712720

[edit] External links

Related topics in the Connexions Subject Index

Alternatives  –  Bioregionalism  –  Left History  –  Libraries & Archives  –  Social Change  – 

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